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Canada’s energy industry steps up during COVID pandemic

Supporting health care workers and those in need part of giving back to Canadian communities.

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While all our lives are different as a result of the current pandemic crisis, Canadian companies are coming together and taking a’ Team Canada’ approach to giving back to the community. Despite economic and other challenges facing Canada’s oil and natural gas sector, energy companies are stepping up in many ways. 

First and foremost, oil and natural gas companies are keeping the safety of employees and workers as the top priority, including workers offshore from Newfoundland and Labrador. The industry is also actively ensuring access to critical products and ensuring community agencies have needed resources.

Industry takes action

On March 31, Shell Canada announced its support for the Canadian health care sector by donating 125,000 litres of isopropyl alcohol (IPA) – the main ingredient in hand sanitizer – to the Government of Canada. This volume is enough to create about one million 12-ounce bottles of hand sanitizer for use in hospitals and medical facilities. Shell Canada also donated $250,000 to City of Calgary programs to aid the Calgary Emergency Management Agency and United Way Calgary, and is offering free food and coffee for health care workers and service providers in Canada. Shell has also launched a donation campaign involving employees and retirees – the company is matching individual donations up to $100,000 to support local food banks across Canada.



“Essential services such as health care, food distribution and sanitation depend on a reliable energy supply,” says Michael Crothers, president and country chair, Shell Canada. “But our industry also makes some of the key ingredients in products that help to slow the spread of COVID-19 such as hand sanitizers, soaps and surface cleaners.”

Suncor Energy is also stepping up, donating 40,000 N-95 face masks to the federal government and distributing them to remote communities identified as having critical need across Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon.

AltaGas Ltd. Is donating $1 million to community partners in areas where the company operates. In Atlantic Canada, the federal government has signed a letter of intent with Irving Oil to produce COVID-10 test kits, hand sanitizer, and personal protective equipment for health care workers including masks and gowns.

Even Bauer Hockey is putting its traditional business on hold to produce face shields for front-line workers who are treating patients with COVID-19. The company is using hockey visor materials to make full medical face shields (made with plastics derived from oil).

This just in

 As the pandemic unfolds and needs become apparent, the oil and natural gas industry continues to take positive actions:

  • On March 27, LNG Canada announced it is providing $500,000 to support the COVID-19 response in both Kitimat and Terrace, B.C., with half of that donation committed to Northern Health for equipment needs in the region. The remaining half is an in-kind contribution to support local hospitals, Indigenous communities, frontline workers and service organizations.
  • Canada's Energy Citizens partnered with a local business in Prince George, B.C. to provide 100 hot meals to truck drivers who are putting in long hours driving goods across the country in this challenging time.
  • TC Energy has launched the TC Energy Giving Portal. Donations made through the portal will support those most vulnerable in the communities where TC Energy lives, works and operates across North America. All donations made through the portal will be matched, up to $500,000.
  • On April 14, Shell announced it is extending its free food and beverage offering at retail stations to all commercial drivers, including long-haul truckers and delivery drivers.  
  • On April 16, Teck Resources announced the creation of a $20-million fund to support COVID-19 response and future recovery efforts. This funding will go to support critical social initiatives and increased healthcare capacity, including procuring one million masks to be donated for healthcare in British Columbia.
  • Irving Oil Limited is retooling its New Brunswick blending and packaging facility, adding hand sanitizer to the production line. 
  • Fluid Energy Group Ltd., which makes advanced chemical systems for offshore, upstream and processing applications, is also producing hand sanitizer and associated disinfectants under its ‘Triton’ cleaning products brand.
  • On April 28, Imperial Oil announced it will give free gasoline to front-line healthcare workers across Canada. Eighty thousand vouchers valued at $25 each will be available until September 1 or until all vouchers are sold. Healthcare workers can apply online and will use Imperial’s Speedpass+ mobile payment app to redeem the voucher at any Esso or Mobil station.